Akademi, the UK’s leading producer of Indian dance, is marking three important centenaries (WW1, the birth of Indian cinema and the first ever short story published in Hindi) with The Troth, a production of dance theatre which reveals the contribution and sacrifice made by Indian soldiers in the Great War. The Troth premieres at Curve Theatre on 20 & 21 February 2018 and tours in February, March and autumn next year.
The Troth is based on Usne Kaha Tha, the renowned Hindi short story written in 1915 by Chandradhar Sharma Guleri. It is the tale of soldier Sardar Lehna Singh, his vow to his childhood sweetheart and its tragic outcome on the battlefields of Belgium. The Troth unfolds the poignant narrative through an interplay of image, music and dance.
Award-winning choreographer Gary Clarke leads the creative team. The original score by Shri Sriram (British Composer Award 2016) integrates European music of the WW1 era with live Indian music in the Punjabi operatic folk music style from a Heer vocalist. Josh Hawkins’ film meanwhile draws on early Indian silent cinema and film noir to provide the stylistic backdrop redolent of the time. The cast of six is drawn from both South Asian and contemporary traditions, including Vidya Patel, Kathak dancer and finalist in BBC Young Dancer of the Year 2015who has recently performed with Richard Alston Dance Company.
Akademi is also touring Paradiso: Man’s Enduring Search for Perfection on the outdoor performance/festival circuit. Paradiso brings together an international creative team (Director/choreographer Jose Agudo; composer Bernhard Schimpelsberger) and a diverse cast of five dancers to present a beautiful choreography with both earthly and mystical flavours. Inspired by the final part of Dante’s Divine Comedy, this 40-minute dance production shares common human struggles, finding answers through the heavenly cosmos to the obstacles of vanity, ambition and desire.